BANGKOK, 2 March 2018: SilkAir is switching the routing of its Singapore-Laos flights to land first in Luang Prabang with a stop in Vientiane on the return leg.
WeAreLao, a website that specialises in promoting travel to Laos reported on the changes, late last week, flagged in its ‘Newsy Bits’ email alert.
SilkAir launched its service to Laos in October 2016 routing the service in a loop, Singapore-Vientiane-Luang Prabang-Singapore.
At the time,the airline said no more than 50,000 Singaporeans travelled to Laos annually.
The airline has now announced it will reverse the routing during the summer timetable effective 26 March. Flights on Monday, Thursday and Saturday will depart Singapore for Luang Prabang at 0900 and arrive in the northern Lao World Heritage town at 1110 with a flight time of three hours and 10 minutes.
The flight will continue to Vientiane departing Luang Prabang at 1200 and arriving in the Lao capital at 1300. On the return leg from Vientiane travellers will arrive in Singapore at 1800.
In the current winter timetable, that ends 25 March, the flight departs Singapore at 1325 for Vientiane and gets passengers into Luang Prabang at 1700. The return flights lands in Singapore at 2230.
According to WeAreLao, SilkAir says the 0900 departure time is more suitable for European travellers, who arrive in Changi Airport early in the morning. They can now connect with the 0900 flight and get to their holiday destination, Luang Prabang by lunchtime.
The new flight time is definitely more convenient for travellers who have booked a holiday just in Luang Prabang. They arrive in time for an early afternoon hotel check-in and at the close of the holiday they can check-out late morning and transfer to the airport in time for the 1300 departure. This gives them maximum hotel stay value without having to request a late checkout.
But there are probably other considerations. Luang Prabang is the more popular destination so travellers would prefer the shortest route to their chosen holiday destination on the outward leg. Vientiane does not command the same kind of appeal as a tourist destination. Most visitors might wonder what they can do on the second day in the capital city, if they are not on a business trip.
SilkAir apparently launched the route in the wrong direction back in 2016 and it would not come as surprise if it eventually decided disengage Vientiane entirely from the route in the future.
(Source: http://wearelao.com/ plus additional TTR input)